For the last decade or so, I’ve been steadily subtracting.
As an experiment in reduction and elimination, I’ve taken the long list of life’s accepted “essentials” and pared them down to the most minimal survivable items.
Many would see these choices as psychotic rigidity without real purpose. But I have always lived on a narrow spectrum of black and white, so floating in the gray never held much appeal.
Some decisions are grounded in practices of optimizing health. Others are stubborn refusals to double back once I’ve started down a particular course. Either way, the list is constantly expanding, and there is a real risk that, given enough time, I may ultimately be left with nothing.
Still, I plod along, desperate for some modicum of control or a sense of peace in an increasingly uncontrollable, chaotically unsettling world.
Mental illness, in any of its various constructions, is a constant wire walk. The best we can do is build blocks of balance from whatever tools are readily available…and these are mine, for now.
Diet: No meat. No dairy. No nuts. No soy. No bananas. No avocados. No tomatoes. No peppers. No onions. No caffeine. No soda. No fast food.
Lifestyle: No sex. No drugs. No alcohol. No smoke. No prescription medication. No gambling. No hedonism.
Personality: No jealousy. No envy. No greed. No fear. No lust. No easy acquiescence. No easy sleep. No vanity. No addiction. No laziness. No breaks. No brakes. No self-indulgence. No self-forgiveness. No self-esteem. No sustained sense of hope. No hysteria. No indolence. No cowardice. No egotism. No profligacy. No pomposity. No inanity. No misinformation. No wastefulness. No tolerance for animal cruelty, of any kind.
This may all be madness…or just a dangerous form of mad science.
Time will tell.
Just say no.